Monday, September 28, 2009

Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, 1984

From a good vintage, a top Bordeaux wine--or even a lesser one--can be expected to give pleasure for 25 to 30 years or longer. 1984 was not such a vintage, and most 1984s have passed the stage of being useable vinegar. Pichon Lalande is a notable exception and was rated top wine of the vintage by many critics. In a year when Merlot grapes failed to ripen properly, Pichon Lalande winemakers chose to go with a high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon and used a very high quality new oak that integrated nicely with the fruit. This is the second time I've had 1984 Pichon Lalande in the past five years; both bottles have been very good.

The color is still medium dark with some amber around the rim. (The estate also minimized exposure to air during processing and used very good corks.) The nose is fine and well developed with scents of blackcurrants, cherry and dill with just a faint hint of green. On the palate, the wine is medium bodied and silky with well delineated flavors that are slightly thin on the finish. It is a very fine wine, reminiscent of a good Australian or California Cabernet.

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